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Indicator 3: Prevalence of Victimization at School
(Last Updated: April 2019)

In 2017, about 2 percent of students ages 12—18 reported being victimized at school during the previous 6 months. One percent of students reported theft, 1 percent reported violent victimization, and less than one-half of 1 percent reported serious violent victimization. Between 2001 and 2017, the overall percentage of students ages 12—18 who reported being victimized at school decreased, as did the percentages of students who reported theft and violent victimization.

The School Crime Supplement (SCS)28 to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) allows for the comparison of victimization rate data across student demographic characteristics (e.g., grade, sex, and race/ethnicity). Results from the most recent data collection show that in 2017 about 2 percent of students ages 12–18 reported being victimized at school29 during the previous 6 months (figure 3.1 and table 3.1). One percent of students reported theft,30 1 percent reported violent victimization,31 and less than one-half of 1 percent reported serious violent victimization.32


Figure 3.1. Percentage of students ages 12–18 who reported criminal victimization at school during the previous 6 months, by type of victimization: Selected years, 2001 through 2017

Figure 3.1. Percentage of students ages 12–18 who reported criminal victimization at school during the previous 6 months, by type of victimization: Selected years, 2001 through 2017

1 Serious violent victimization is also included in violent victimization.
NOTE: “Total victimization” includes theft and violent victimization. “Theft” includes attempted and completed purse-snatching, completed pickpocketing, and all attempted and completed thefts, with the exception of motor vehicle thefts. Theft does not include robbery, which involves the threat or use of force and is classified as a violent crime. “Serious violent victimization” includes the crimes of rape, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault. “Violent victimization” includes the serious violent crimes as well as simple assault. “At school” includes in the school building, on school property, on a school bus, and going to and from school. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding and because students who reported both theft and violent victimization are counted only once in total victimization. Although Indicators 2 and 3 present information on similar topics, Indicator 2 is based solely on data collected in the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), whereas Indicator 3 is based on data collected in the School Crime Supplement (SCS) to the NCVS as well as demographic data collected in the NCVS. Indicator 2 uses data from all students ages 12–18 who responded to the NCVS, while Indicator 3 uses data from all students ages 12–18 who responded to both the NCVS and the SCS. Inclusion criteria for the NCVS and SCS differ slightly. For example, students who are exclusively homeschooled are able to complete the NCVS but not the SCS.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, School Crime Supplement (SCS) to the National Crime Victimization Survey, 2001 through 2017.


Between 2001 and 2017, the overall percentage of students ages 12–18 who reported being victimized at school during the previous 6 months decreased (from 6 to 2 percent), as did the percentages of students who reported theft (from 4 to 1 percent) and violent victimization (from 2 to 1 percent). The percentage of students who reported serious violent victimization fluctuated during this period, but the percentage was less than one-half of 1 percent lower in 2017 than in 2001.

The percentage of students ages 12–18 who reported being victimized at school during the previous 6 months decreased between 2001 and 2017 for both male (from 6 to 3 percent) and female (from 5 to 2 percent) students, as well as for White (from 6 to 2 percent), Black (from 6 to 3 percent), and Hispanic (from 5 to 2 percent) students. In addition, the percentages of students who reported being victimized decreased between 2001 and 2017 for students in all grades 6 through 12.

A decrease between 2001 and 2017 in the percentage of students ages 12–18 who reported being victimized during the previous 6 months also occurred across urbanicity types and for public school students. The percentage of students who reported being victimized decreased between 2001 and 2017 for students from urban areas (from 6 to 3 percent), suburban areas (from 6 to 2 percent), and rural areas (from 5 to 2 percent). About 6 percent of public school students reported being victimized at school in 2001; the percentage decreased to 2 percent of public school students in 2017.

In 2017, the percentage of students ages 12–18 who reported being victimized at school during the previous 6 months was higher for 6th- and 10th-graders (3 percent each) than for 11th- and 12th-graders (1 percent each; figure 3.2 and table 3.1). In addition, the percentage of students who reported violent victimization was higher for 6th-graders (2 percent) than for 8th- and 10th-graders (1 percent each). Also, in 2017 a higher percentage of male students than of female students reported violent victimization (1 percent vs. one-half of 1 percent). There were no measurable differences by students’ race/ethnicity or their household’s urbanicity in reporting victimization overall or reporting specific types of victimization.


Figure 3.2. Percentage of students ages 12–18 who reported criminal victimization at school during the previous 6 months, by selected student and school characteristics: 2001 and 2017

Figure 3.2. Percentage of students ages 12–18 who reported criminal victimization at school during the previous 6 months, by selected student and school characteristics: 2001 and 2017

— Not available.
! Interpret data with caution. The coefficient of variation (CV) for this estimate is between 30 and 50 percent.
‡ Reporting standards not met. Either there are too few cases for a reliable estimate or the coefficient of variation (CV) is 50 percent or greater.
1 Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Data for Pacific Islander students and students of Two or more races were not available in 2001 and did not meet reporting standards in 2017; therefore, data for these two groups are not shown.
2 Refers to the Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) status of the respondent’s household as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau. Categories include “central city of an MSA (Urban),” “in MSA but not in central city (Suburban),” and “not MSA (Rural).”
NOTE: “Total victimization” includes theft and violent victimization. “At school” includes in the school building, on school property, on a school bus, and going to and from school. Although Indicators 2 and 3 present information on similar topics, Indicator 2 is based solely on data collected in the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), whereas Indicator 3 is based on data collected in the School Crime Supplement (SCS) to the NCVS as well as demographic data collected in the NCVS. Indicator 2 uses data from all students ages 12–18 who responded to the NCVS, while Indicator 3 uses data from all students ages 12–18 who responded to both the NCVS and the SCS. Inclusion criteria for the NCVS and SCS differ slightly. For example, students who are exclusively homeschooled are able to complete the NCVS but not the SCS.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, School Crime Supplement (SCS) to the National Crime Victimization Survey, 2001 and 2017.


This indicator has been updated to include 2017 data. For more information: Table 3.1, and https://nces.ed.gov/programs/crime/.


28 Although Indicators 2 and 3 present information on similar topics, Indicator 2 is based solely on data collected in the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), whereas Indicator 3 is based on data collected in the School Crime Supplement (SCS) to the NCVS as well as demographic data collected in the NCVS. Indicator 2 uses data from all students ages 12–18 who responded to the NCVS, while Indicator 3 uses data from all students ages 12–18 who responded to both the NCVS and the SCS. Inclusion criteria for the NCVS and SCS differ slightly. For example, students who are exclusively homeschooled are able to complete the NCVS but not the SCS. Thus, the calculation of estimates presented here is based on a subset of the student sample used to calculate the estimates presented in Indicator 2.
29 “At school” includes in the school building, on school property, on a school bus, and going to and from school.
30 “Theft” includes attempted and completed purse-snatching, completed pickpocketing, and all attempted and completed thefts, with the exception of motor vehicle thefts. Theft does not include robbery, which involves the threat or use of force and is classified as a violent crime.
31 “Violent victimization” includes serious violent crimes and simple assault.
32 “Serious violent victimization” includes rape, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault.